October 20, 2008

October 20, 2008


Wal-Mart Closes Unionized Garage in Quebec

“Wal-Mart is closing a tire-and-lube garage in Gatineau where workers won a major victory last August when a Quebec arbitrator imposed a collective agreement on the company.”

CBC News, October 16, 2008: “Wal-Mart closes shop where union contract imposed 6 employees affected at Gatineau tire-and-lube garage.”

Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog, October 17, 2008: “Wal-Mart’s Continued Assault on the Rights of Workers.”


Consultation on Covert Video Surveillance

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has prepared a draft guidance document that sets out good practice rules for private sector organizations that are either contemplating or using covert video surveillance. The Commission will issue its final recommendations for good practices after the close of the comment period, November 14, 2008. In March 2008 the Privacy Commission published Guidelines for Overt Video Surveillance in the Private Sector.

Draft guidance document , October 15, 2008 (scroll down to read)

Guidelines for Overt Video Surveillance, March, 2008 (4 pages, PDF)


Economic Surveys of Small Businesses in Canada

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is conducting a series of six weekly economic surveys on how small businesses view current economic conditions. The Business Barometer: Special weekly tracking of small business expectations will be released weekly, starting on October 9, 2008.

Update #1, October 9, 2008 (2 pages, PDF)

Media Release

Update #2, October 16, 2008 (2 pages, PDF)

Media Release


Current Trends in Canadian Small Business and Industry

RBC Financial has released an in depth report titled, Small businesses and industries in Canada —Recent trends, which looks at the current state of small businesses in the Canadian economy. Small businesses employee almost 50 percent of the private sector payroll in Canada and represent 98 percent of Canadian firms.

Report, October 20, 2008 (8 pages, PDF)

Media release


HR 2008: Transforming Talent with Influential Leadership

The Conference Board of Canada’s e-Proceedings, HR 2008: Transforming Talent with Influential Leadership, look at how HR can lead through influence and by aligning itself with business strategy. These online proceedings also look at how to motivate leaders and high-potential employees, increase loyalty, and fully capitalize on the employees’ energy and passion.

Conference e-Proceedings, October 2008 - Available to the University of Toronto community via the Conference Board’s e-Library (scroll down to find title)


Older Workers

The Conference Board of Canada has released, Harnessing the Power: Recruiting, Engaging, and Retaining Mature Workers, a report that provides information on what organizations are doing to attract, engage, and retain the mature workforce. It is based on a survey of 109 mid-sized to large Canadian employers.

Report, October 2008, (35 pages, PDF) Available for downloading by the University of Toronto community via the Conference Board’s e-Library (scroll down to find title)


Eldercare -- What We Know Today

The Statistics Canada publication, Canadian Social Trends, has released an article titled, “Eldercare: What We Know Today.” Using data from the 2007 General Social Survey, the article investigates new national level data on care giving. It looks at who provides care to seniors, which tasks are provided, how caregivers cope, and where they turn in order to seek support.

Article, October 21, 2008 (10 pages, PDF)


Research Paper on the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics

Statistics Canada has released the paper, “Content of the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics Part A: Demographic and Labour Content,” by Garnett Picot, Susan Poulin, Richard Veevers and Brian Biggs.

Research paper, October 21, 2008 (47 pages, PDF)


Work-life Balance and Flexibility in New Zealand

The report, Work-life Balance and Flexibility in New Zealand, released by the New Zealand Ministry of Labour, examines employee and employers attitudes towards and experiences of work-life balance, focusing on the availability and uptake of flexible working arrangements. The study was also designed to provide a benchmark for the assessment of the Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act, 2007. The research found that most businesses offer some flexible working arrangements to their staff. The most widely available flexible working arrangements are occasional flexible start and finish times, flexible breaks, part-time work and unpaid leave.

Report, October 16, 2008 (32 pages, PDF)


Families’ Experience of Flexible Work Arrangements in New Zealand

The report, Give and Take: families’ perceptions and experiences of flexible work in New Zealand summarizes the findings of a research project conducted by the Families Commission which explored families’ experiences of flexible work arrangements and their impact on family life.

Report, September 26, 2008 (144 pages, PDF)


An Evaluation of New Zealand’s Work-Life Balance Program

Lessons from the Workplace Project: an evaluation of a Work-Life Balance Programme initiative, a report released by the New Zealand Ministry of Labour, evaluates the Workplace Project. The Project was set up to assist 14 large organizations with advice and information to enable them to develop and trial practical work-life balance tools and make the resulting best practice information widely available to workplaces, employers, employees, and unions.

Report, July 2008 (68 pages, PDF)


ILO Says Global Financial Crisis to Increase Unemployment by 20 Million

The global financial crisis could increase world unemployment by an estimated 20 million women and men, according to the Director-General of the International Labour Office (ILO). This announcement was based upon revised global growth estimates by the International Monetary Fund.

ILO Press release, October 20, 2008


World Economic Outlook -- Financial Stress, Downturns, and Recoveries

The World Economic Outlook is published by the International Monetary Fund. It focuses on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects, both globally and for individual countries. It is prepared twice a year as documentation for meetings of the International Monetary Fund and forms the main instrument of the IMF's global surveillance activities.

World Economic Outlook, October 2008 (321 pages, PDF)

World Economic Outlook, October 2008 (html - individual chapters accessible by the contents page)

United States and Canada: Bending but Not Buckling (from Chapter 2. Country and Regional Perspectives)


Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries

Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries, released by the OECD, brings together a range of analyses on the distribution of economic resources in OECD countries. The report also describes inequalities in household wealth, consumption patterns, and public services.  The report found an increase in income inequality over the past two decades across the OECD, but the timing, intensity and causes of the increase differ from what is typically suggested in the media.

Growing Unequal? October 21, 2008 - general information page

Summary report: Are we growing unequal? New evidence on changes in poverty and incomes over the past 20 years, October 21, 2008 (8 pages, PDF)

Country Note for Canada (2 pages, PDF)


Book of the Week

HR Transformation Technology: Delivering Systems to Support the New HR Model, by Allan Boroughs, Les Palmer and Ian Hunter. Aldershot, UK : Gower, 2008. 215 p. ISBN 978-0-566-08833-9

HR Transformation Technology is a complete, business-orientated guide to the planning, design and delivery of HR information systems. It spells out the full scope of the applications required to support HR shared services, centers of excellence and business partner roles. It also sets out the step-by-step process for managing the delivery of a major HR information system project, and ensuring that it remains on schedule and on budget.

About the Authors: Allan Boroughs, Les Palmer and Ian Hunter are all partners in the company Orion Partners.


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Editor: Vicki Skelton
Designer: Nick Strupat

Copyright © 2008 Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Date posted: 
Monday, October 20, 2008